Briggs & Stratton, Generac Holdings are Newsmakers of the Year

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. and Waukesha-based Generac Holdings Inc. were named the 2014 Newsmakers of the Year by Diesel Progress North American magazine. It is the first time in the 18-year history of the magazine’s award to have a tie.

The Diesel Progress North American Newsmaker of the Year is awarded annually to the company, product, person, technology, trend or market that made the most news in the last 12 months in the off-highway, on-highway, stationary and marine engine-powered equipment markets.

A late flurry of acquisitions and engine news from both companies caused the editorial board of Diesel Progress to call it a tie for 2014.

Briggs & Stratton, a producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, developed new innovations and acquired Holdrege, Neb.-based Allmand Bros. Inc. this year. Generac, a leading designer and manufacturer of a wide range of generators and other engine-powered products, in 2014 acquired Bismarck, N.D.-based MAC Inc. and released several new products.

“While both companies are long established, and very well-known names in the engine and engine-powered equipment markets, there really was a sense in 2014 that these are two companies coming of age,” said Mike Osenga, publisher of Diesel Progress North American. “Both companies are making aggressive moves, going into new and different product and market segments, while at the same protecting their core businesses.”

Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Ind., was the 2013 Newsmaker of the Year. Other previous recipients include Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc., Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar Inc., and Oshkosh-based Oshkosh Corp.

Diesel Progress North American, a publication of Waukesha-based Diesel & Gas Turbine Publications, covers the manufacturers of engine-powered equipment outside of the automotive world.

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